For the last four weeks, I’ve been immersed in eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation’s Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition program. There are three two-week classes in the program, and I’ve been taking them back-to-back. I completed Nutrition Fundamentals two weeks ago, today I will wrap up Diseases of Affluence, and tomorrow I begin my last and final class for the program- Principles in Practice. Once my third class is complete, I will have earned my spiffy new certificate.
If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been writing as much these last couple of weeks, that’s why. I tried on numerous occasions to write about the class for my blog, but I kept having trouble figuring out what to write about. Please know it’s not due to a lack of information- quite the contrary. I can’t even begin to tell you how packed this program is with useful information- much of it quite shocking and inspiring, all at the same time. It’s taking some time to sort out how I want to write about it.
Before you think I am a vegetarian or vegan, please know I’m not. I grew up eating the normal, standard American diet. I have always loved vegetables and fruit, but I also enjoyed loads of animal protein, pastas, junk food, pre-packaged foods, frozen dinners, sodas, and fast food. I’ve been trying to eat healthier over the last few years, and I thought I was finally making some progress. Until…I saw a copy of the New York Times Bestseller, The China Study. That’s when I started to rethink this whole food thing.
Turns out that the author of The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, is a professor at Cornell University, and he created the Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition program. You may have seen him in the movie, “Forks Over Knives.” I was interested in the program a while ago, but when I learned a couple of months ago that I could also knock out some of my continuing education requirements for my CHES certification, I signed up. (To my fellow milspouses out there- the MyCAA program will pay for it too if you qualify. And, I need to give a shout out to my friend Isheka who reminded me about the MyCAA program- thanks so much!!)
Boy, am I happy that I signed up… As I’ve been learning, there are so many incredible health benefits to living a healthy lifestyle and eating a whole foods plant-based diet, and I plan to blog more about them throughout the coming months. Some of them include easy and healthy weight loss, having more energy, looking and feeling younger, lowering your risk of prostate, breast, and other cancers, preventing and reversing heart disease, vastly decreasing your need for prescription drugs, preventing and treating diabetes, keeping your bones strong, avoiding stroke, preventing kidney stones, lowering blood pressure, avoiding Alzheimer’s Disease, overcoming arthritis, and avoiding impotence, among many, many other benefits. The best part is, if we cut out all the crap from our diets that we normally eat, we can eat as much as we want to. There’s no counting calories, carbs, fat, etc. We’d be eating real, whole foods, and plenty of it.
While I’m not a vegetarian or vegan right now, I definitely plan to move further towards a whole foods plant-based diet. Also- just to clarify- the term vegan usually refers to individuals who don’t eat meat or dairy, and for many, a big motivation is how animals are treated. A whole foods plant-based diet is very similar, but it identifies what to eat (actual fresh whole foods), instead of what not to eat (meat and dairy). Technically speaking, vegans can eat processed foods, fast food, etc, as long as it doesn’t have meat or dairy in it. Some don’t, but many do.
People who follow a whole foods plant-based diet eat very, very little meat or dairy, if at all (most do not), nor any processed foods, or junk food. It doesn’t mean they can’t sneak a few chips or a burger in here and there, but generally speaking, this is how they eat. They eat an incredibly nutritious and healthy diet. I know it sounds like a huge leap from how many of us eat right now, but it’s totally do-able, and it is hardly boring or awful. Believe me, I wouldn’t be interested in it if it were…
So, my apologies to my blog peeps for not writing as much as I had planned to these last few weeks. But, please know my wheels are turning with loads of blog ideas, many of which are inspired by the certificate program. And, I look forward to sharing this info with all of you. After all, good health is contagious- and we need to pass it on!